ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION: A cure for Justice delayed and Justice denied problem of India


Author

Parul Sardana, Banasthali Vidyapith University, Rajasthan


Introduction:

Today is the time for being Digital. Everything is becoming digital these days. Today is the time of globalization. These technologies and techniques have a huge impact on our day to day work.

Technology has brought many changes in various fields of work.

So, why should our courts be left behind in this race?

Indian courts are very well known for their pending cases. There are huge number of cases pending in our courts.

In India, there is a saying that Justice delayed is equal to justice denied. It means that if justice isn’t achieved at the right time, then there is no use of that justice.

People have almost lose faith in the judiciary system.

So, here is such a technique which helps in the administration of justice.

To be in a race, an initiative has been taken by our courts which is Online Dispute Resolution. Basically, it means a solution to disputes by using digital techniques and technologies.

ODR:

Online Dispute Resolution, is a latest communication method for the settlement of disputes between the parties.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India:

Under article 21 of the Constitution of India, it is being mentioned that, ‘No person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty except by the procedure by law.

Case law: Hussainara khatoon vs. Home Secretary state of Bihar:

In this famous case, it was said that right to speedy trial is a part and parcel of right to life and personal liberty.

Traditional method of dispute resolution or Online Dispute Resolution?

With the change of time, one has to change itself as well. For many years we were dealing cases with the traditional methods. But COVID 19 has at least a good impact. With this, a new initiative has been emerged, which is Online Dispute Resolution. It’s an alternative to the old and old year’s method of dispute resolution.

Ok! I will ask you one question, Which takes more time, litigation filed in court or Online dispute Resolution!?

Think and you will get the answer why ODR is better!

Advantages of ODR:

  • Apart from being convenient, it is time effective as well.
  • Provides an efficient way of resolution of disputes.
  • Cost effective
  • . For example: Just think about 2 parties, who are at a huge distance from one another. So, ODR helps a lot in saving travel time.
  • It is a very creative method of resolution of disputes as generally the court proceedings are very formal and take much time, but this ODR method is very flexible.
  • It’s the best method for those parties who could not afford the high cost of litigation process. So ODR provides a relief in terms of cost as well.
  • Speedy trial.
  • Promotes speedy access to justice.
  • ODR technique is very easy to access. It can be accessed anywhere from the world where internet is available.
  • Apart from quick disposal of cases, the best advantage of ODR is that it will give employment to many arbitrators and advocates. This ODR can be proved boon in many cases.

Storage of voluminous data:

In India, one such issue which courts have to face is the storage of large voluminous data. But with the advent of ODR, this issue can be solved easily.

Disadvantages of ODR:

  • Those people who lack in terms of technology, will be at disadvantage of using ODR technique.
  • Due to some language issue, some people can also face some communication problem.

Mode of Doing Online Dispute Resolution:

For solving disputes, ODR uses a combination of online and offline methods.

Types of Online Dispute Resolution:

  1. Mediation:

In this type of dispute resolution, a neutral person is appointed basically. In simple words, we can say that a third party person solves the disputes by firstly listening to the parties dispute and then trying to resolve the issue. And whatever mediator says, it’s up to the parties whether they want to accept on that term or not.

  • Arbitration:

In this method, the parties approach the arbitrator and seeks his help for the resolution of the dispute.

Advantages of Arbitration:

  • It is less formal .
  • It is time effective. As proceedings  are completed in lesser time.
  • This method is less complicated as well.
  • This method saves travelling time as well as travelling expenses.
  • Negotiation:

Negotiation means making some counter offer or some type of concession so that parties can come to an agreement.

Role of ODR neutral:

The main aim of the neutral person is to solve the disputes between the parties. And in this process, he plays a very important role as firstly he discusses with both the parties about their main issue of dispute and then after listening to both the parties, he counsel both the parties to solve their dispute.

Characteristics of Online Dispute Resolution:

  1. Informal:

The proceedings under ODR are generally informal. Proceedings through Online Dispute Resolution are quite relaxing.

  • Confidential:

ODR is a very confidential process.

Significance of ODR:

COVID 19 pandemic is  still continuing in India. Due to which many courts re closed. The importance of using Online dispute resolution lies in the fact that it’s a great step towards providing justice.

👉Aim of ODR is to get everyone access to justice.

Impact of Online Dispute Resolution:

With the emergence of Online Dispute Resolution, the way of dealing cases has been changed.

With the emergence of this method, now the court is making use of this in solving all disputes matters. As court has to invest their lot of time, but this method of ODR has been proved to be a boon for them.

👉It helps to solve disputes at a faster rate.

👉This method has proved to be satisfactory.

👉This method of ODR has eased the method for courts.

Role of Online Dispute Resolution in Covid 19 pandemic:

As the world is facing a huge pandemic this time. And till now it can’t be ascertain that when this Covid 19 situation will gonna be end!

Although in India, there is a problem of delayed justice. And this Corona virus has made this even worse. Already our courts are having a lot of pending cases.

But to avoid all this, a new initiative of ODR can be used.

As in Covid 19 pandemic, it is being advised to stay away from people at a distance to avoid the virus then such a technique like ODR is very useful. As by using Online Dispute Resolution, people does not have to appear in a court room, and that’s the best way of doing social distancing.

ODR which was earlier in an initial stage has now gained so much importance due to COVID 19.

Disputes are a way of life:

Disputes are a part and parcel of life. They are never gonna end. But the way for dealing with them can be changed. The way of resolving disputes can actually have a positive impact on the people. If justice is delivered to the people at right time, only then they can have trust on us.

Challenges of ODR in India:

There are many obstacles in the way of ODR in India, due to which it has not been able to grow itself.

  • One such challenge is lack of communication.
  • Inadequate techniques
  • Negative mindset of lawyers
  • Lack of literacy
  • And the most important issue is about it’s admissibility in the court. Some judges don’t administer these type of proceedings.

Conclusion:

Justice is the main aim of Law. And it’s the best time to change the way of providing justice. Because everyone knows disputes are still gonna come, but what we can do is to change their way of dealing.

The best way to handle disputes in a cost-effective manner is by using Online Dispute Resolution.

We can say that Online Dispute Resolution has wide scope but in India we need more of its implications in cases.

As everyone is adopting internet more and more in his life, then why court should stop itself from using the latest technologies in the matter of cases?

Justice is the necessity of the present time. Everyone should get justice at affordable costs. Our government, we people should ensure that justice is delivered to all those who need it.

India needs an effective mechanism through which ODR can be used.


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